Turkey’s S-400 missiles purchase will expose holes in F-35 system, says Russian expert

The United States does not wish to transfer the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey as Ankara would have an armed force with both U.S. planes and Russian missile defense systems, revealing that the F-35 is not as stealthy as is touted, Russian Sputnik news reported, citing Russian military expert Dmitry Drozdenko.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a national defence budget act that suspends U.S. sales of weapons, including new generation F-35 fighter jets, a move triggered by, among other developments, Turkey’s deal with Russia to purchase four batteries of S-400 air defence systems, which the U.S. and NATO member countries maintain is incompatible with NATO systems. 

“The F-35 is a very complex system and, as such, it has lots of holes, bugs and other things, and it is very difficult to debug it. Like other problems, all this is because it is an excessively high-tech aircraft," Sputnik quoted Drozdenko as saying.

The expert noted the problems F-35 has had with its radar-evading coating and the life support system for its pilots adding the current spat between Turkey and the United States was unlikely to result in a complete break-off, as Turkey is too important ally for the United States in the region.

Moscow and Ankara singed a loan agreement for the S-400 air defense missile battery systems in December 2017 with the initial delivery of the missile system to Turkey slated for the first quarter of 2020.